Biden to participate in ABC town hall after urging reschedule of second debate

Donald Trump refused to participate in a virtual debate earlier in the day with Joe Biden

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Joe Biden will be participating in an ABC town hall on Oct. 15 in lieu of a second debate with President Donald Trump.

It was announced Thursday that the Democratic nominee will partake in a town hall forum that will be moderated by ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos next Thursday. The date had previously been set aside as the second scheduled presidential debate between Biden and Trump.

Earlier in the day, Biden gave notice he would not be participating in the second virtual presidential debate on Oct.15 and would instead focus on finding “an appropriate place to take questions from voters directly,” according to his campaign.

Trump and Biden were scheduled to appear in an altered virtual campaign due to Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis. However, the president balked at the suggestion.

Joe Biden thegrio.com
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participates in the first presidential debate against U.S. President Donald Trump at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the first of three planned debates between the two candidates in the lead up to the election on November 3. (Photo by Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images)

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“I’m not going to waste my time on virtual debate. That’s not what debating is all about,” Trump said in an interview with Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business on Thursday morning. “You sit behind a computer and do a debate. It’s ridiculous, and then they cut you off whenever they want.”

Biden’s campaign has pulled out of the event entirely and has urged the Commission on Presidential Debate’s to move the proposed townhall to Oct. 22.

“Joe Biden was prepared to accept the [Commission on Presidential Debate’s] proposal for a virtual Town Hall, but the President has refused, as Donald Trump clearly does not want to face questions from the voters about his failures on COVID and the economy,” Biden campaign spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield said in a statement on Thursday. “Given the President’s refusal to participate on October 15th, we hope the Debate Commission will move the Biden-Trump Town Hall to October 22nd, so that the President is not able to evade accountability.”

The state of the next debate has been influx ever since Trump made his coronavirus diagnosis public almost a week ago. Trump and his campaign did not inform Biden that he was potentially infected during their first debate on Sept. 29 in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Earlier in the week, Biden expressed concern about participating in a debate given Trump’s sickness.

“We shouldn’t have a debate”, Biden said. “Too many people have been infected. It’s a very serious problem, so I will be guided by the guidelines of the Cleveland Clinic and what the docs say is the right thing to do.”

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